For hot dog lovers, Gene And Jude’s is a destination to not be missed. Started For hot dog lovers, Gene & Jude’s is a must-visit destination. For more than 60 years, this River Grove institution has been serving up a classic menu of hot dogs, french fries and tasty ...
“Relished since 1946,” this neon-lit throwback in the near west Chicago ‘burbs is almost as famous for their superb fresh-cut, fried-to-order spuds as they are for their no-frills Vienna Beef (what else?) dogs. The iconic Depression Dog comes topped with mustard, onions, relish, sport peppers and a handful of French fries.
As a Chicagoan native, it was only a matter of time before Jeff Mauro, the "Sandwich King" on Food Network, did an episode dedicated tohot dogs and sausages. It was also appropriate that this "Sausage Fest" aired on October 7 during National Sausage Month.
As in every episode of "Sandwich King," Mauro picked an iconic Chicago spot to learn a thing or two about the meal he planned to make. Not surprisingly, he chose Gene & Jude's of River Grove, IL, a hot dog stand that has been serving classic Chicago dogs since 1946.
It's long been argued that Chicago has the best hot dogs in the country—and now Rachael Ray has put her stamp of approval on it to make the claim official. In the March issue of Every Day With Rachael Ray, the perky budget-focused chef, along with three judges from Serious Eats, named River Grove's Gene & Jude's the No. 1 hot dog in the U.S.
Another week, another best-[insert food]-in-the-country list, but this is one we can stand behind and cheer.
Gene & Judeʼs Red Hot Stand, River Groveʼs purveyors of just hot dogs, tamales and fries since 1946, will be named the number one hot dog stand in the country in the March issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray. The magazine goes on newsstands this week.
The adjudication was handled by Serious Eats, the James Beard Award-winning blog with food writing heavyweights Ed Levine, Adam Kuban and Hawk Krall. Their hot dog-scouting team chose 64 stands throughout the nation, divided into four geographic regions. A March Madness-like competition eliminated restaurants round by round, until two hot dog stands remained: Aqui con El Nene in Tucson, and our own Gene & Jude's. Our hometown hero won. “Itʼs a great honor for anyone to notice us,” said Dan Ciancio, general manager of the stand for 20 years. “We go through a lot of trouble to have such a small menu. Weʼve just kept it the same. And I feel proud that weʼre doing something right.”
If you had told us that a major food blog would pick a Chicago hot dog stand as the best dog joint in America, we wouldn't have been surprised for a minute. Hot Doug's, probably, or Superdawg, or maybe a dark horse like Wolfy's or Jimmy's Red Hots.
But if you'd said the winner was in a little suburb out by O'Hare? We might have been left scratching our heads.
Still, as The Stew wrote yesterday, that's just what happened: Serious Eats picked Gene & Jude's Red Hot Stand in River Grove as the purveyor of America's best hot dog.